A concerned Ugandan citizen wants law firms MMAKS Advocates and BOWMANS Advocates to return the money fraudulently earned from sale of some of the seven defunct banks or else he drags them to court.
In his letters to the above law firms dated 26th February 2019, Steven Masanso wants the law firms colluded with Bank of Uganda (BoU) officials to earn money even in instances where they didn’t deserve as highlighted in the recent Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) report on the seven closed and sold banks by BoU.
“You also billed way beyond the permissible scale and in [some] instances for no work done at all. A case in point is with respect on the monies taken out as legal fees for purported drawing of the Crane Bank sale agreement even when it clearly shows having (sic) been drawn by the legal department of Bank of Uganda,” Masanso says in his intention to sue letters.
The letter is also copied to President Yoweri Museveni, the Director Legal Department at Bank of Uganda, the Inspector General of Police, the Director Criminal Investigations Department and the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
It is worth noting that while appearing before COSASE probe, Timothy Masembe, a lawyer and partner at MMAKS advocates confirmed that MMAKS Advocates was paid in US dollars yet they billed in Uganda Shillings, a thing that shocked MPs.
BoU paid MMAKS Advocates lawyers a whopping Shs914 million for legal advice during CBL intervention, resolution and advice on the sale of CBL assets and assumption of liabilities.
The law firm would further be paid extra Shs3 billion as 5% commission monies recovered from CBL shareholders, bringing the total to Shs4.2bn including other commissions.
BOWMANS Advocates is co-owned by David F.K. Mpanga, who also benefited from the controversial sale of some banks.
Masanso also accuses the law firms of conflict of interest by double dealing.
“Your activities were constructed in bad faith, self-interest and usurped constitutional mandate/purpose of the regulator (BoU),” he says in his letter seen by Business Focus.
He therefore wants the law firms to apologize to Ugandans in national media and refund all the monies they ‘illegally’ acquired from the public and sold banks.
He says failure to do so, he “shall proceed to lodge criminal and civil proceedings against your and your accomplices.”